Any voter may ask for assistance from a precinct official.
Any voter is entitled to assistance from the voter's near relatives, which state law defines as the voter’s spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, or stepchild, as chosen by the voter. The voter need not be disabled in order to receive such assistance.
A voter in any the following categories is entitled to assistance from a person of the voter's choice, excluding the voter’s employer or agent of that employer or an officer or agent of the voter’s union:
- A voter who, due to physical disability, is unable to enter the voting booth without assistance.
- A voter who, due to physical disability, is unable to mark a ballot without assistance.
- A voter who, due to illiteracy, is unable to mark a ballot without assistance. (This includes a voter who, due to his or her inability to read, write, or speak in English, is unable to mark a ballot without assistance)
- A voter who, due to blindness, is unable to enter the voting booth or mark a ballot without assistance.
There is also no prohibition against a person assisting multiple voters if those voters are entitled to assistance as detailed above.
Frequently Asked Questions
NC General Statue § 163-166.8 provides that the person providing assistance “shall not in any manner seek to persuade or induce any voter to cast any vote in any particular way.” That individual is then bound by law to mark the ballot according to the voter's wishes.
What happens if another voter or an observer believes that precinct officials have permitted an individual who does not meet the minimum communication standards outlined above to vote with assistance?
The voter or observer should express those concerns to the chief judge or designated election official. If the response of the election official is unsatisfactory, the voter or observer may call the county elections director.
What happens if it appears that a systematic pattern of disregard for the standards outlined above is occurring?
If an elections official notices what appears to be a systematic disregard for the standards described, a designated election official should complete an incident report and contact the county board of elections to determine what action is needed and appropriate. There are no legal restrictions on the number of times a person can assist different voters as long as those voters qualify for that assistance and proper procedures are followed.